Madras HC orders interim ban on explicitly sexual ads for promoting vulgarity

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The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court issued an interim order against the telecast of sexual advertisements, citing the interests of justice and to safeguard children and women.

In the order passed on November 11, the Bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and B Pugalendhi expresses its disapproval over such advertisements.

The order reads:

“It is shocking to note that in the television, about 10.00 p.m., almost all the television channels are telecasting some advertisements, which exhibit obscenity to promote the sale of condoms, which in fact, are being viewed irrespective of the age and absolutely available in all television channels. Anybody who sees these programmes will be shocked by the pornographic content.

Some advertisements though look like promotion “Aphrodisiac” popularly known as ”Love Drugs”, it looks like a porno film. Nudity is exhibited in those advertisements, which is punishable under Section 16 of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995. Similarly as per Rule 7(1) of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, the programmes telecast should not offend “morality”, “decency” and “religious susceptibilities” of the subscribers.

As per Rule 7(2)(vi), the Cable Operators shall ensure that the portrayal of the female form, in the programmes carried in cable service is tasteful and aesthetic and is within the well established norms of good taste and decency. However, in the programmes/advertisements, which are telecasted in the television in the name of selling condoms and aphrodisiacs, inner wears, they are violating the Rules provided under Rule 7(1) of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994.

“Nudity is available in the name of Doctor’s advice as well as advertisements and it is freely available and is being viewed by all including the children. It will definitely affect the minds of youngsters and children. Interest of justice requires to issue a direction as prayed for and also to safeguard the children and women. In such view of the matter, there shall be an order of interim direction as prayed for.”

The court has now asked the government to respond on the aspect of censorship of programmes under Section 5(A) of the Cinematograph Act 1952.

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